Landscaping Mounds, Berms, and Knolls: Create an Oasis on Flat Spaces

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Landscaping Mounds, Berms, and Knolls: Create an Oasis on Flat Spaces

A flat landscape is a dream for a teenager with a lawnmowing business. But you’re not a teenager with a lawnmowing business.

If you’re working with a flat landscape around your property, a rock formation might not be the solution for you.

In these cases, property owners and landscapers prefer to approximate the effect of rolling hills with landscaping mounds like berms, mounds, and knolls.

There are too many ways to build each of these features for us to give you a comprehensive rundown of all of them. But we can provide you with some shortcuts to make the berm-creating process more efficient.

Read on to learn berm best practices.

The Magic Ratio

The rule of thumb when creating a berm is that the berm should be around four to five times longer than it is tall. When it comes to height, berms typically run in the range of 18-24 inches.

When it comes to implementing these magic numbers, we recommend you draft your idea on paper first. This will give you a sense of scale and allow you to plan for the exact amount of materials you need. When you’re in this planning stage, also consider the way your property drains, as your berm will likely affect the drainage patterns after heavy rains.

To Curve or Not to Curve

When you conjure the image of a soil berm in your mind, is it straight or is it curved? Most people prefer the latter option, although there’s no one stopping you from making your yard according to your specifications.

This is just one of the general guidelines landscapers like to follow to create eye-catching natural spaces.

The idea is that a curved berm is more attractive because it is a more naturally occurring shape. We don’t often see segmented blocks of soil in nature. But perhaps you’re not going for a natural look. In that case, use straight lines and block shapes to your heart’s content!

Landscaping Mounds Look Better Naturalized

Speaking of natural looks, one way to make your berm blend into your landscape beautifully is to naturalize it. By this, we mean adding elements that make it look like more than a dark patch of unhealthy soil.

Rocks, trees, and other vegetation are all great options when it comes to naturalizing your berm. When you’re placing rocks, bury one-third of their height into the soil to keep them firm and give them the look of being naturally occurring.

There Are No Rules

You can choose to follow the received wisdom about berm construction or not. No one can tell you how to sculpt the landscaping mounds on your property. We just hope we’ve sparked some ideas to get your berm landscaping project started.

We’re here if you want more suggestions or a quote on the materials you need to complete your project.